Bathroom Light electrical wiring question?

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-29-07, 08:23 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 16
Question Bathroom Light electrical wiring question?

Hello,

For my first time, I am attempting to install a new bathroom light, and have made the mistake of disconnecting the old light fixture, and not making note of which wires were connected.

I have first and foremost disabled all electrical circuits going to the wires in the bathroom.

My house is about 27 years old, and here is how the wiring is setup in the washroom:

Out of the light fixture, I have 5 white wires, and 5 black wires with approximately 4 grounded copper wires.

In the washroom there is a light switch and a fan. Directly behind that on the other side of the washroom wall there is a wall outlett.

I tried to connect all the white wires together, and all the black wires together as well as grounding the wires, but now I am not getting any power to the wall outlet, fan, or light after re-enabling the circuit, and then connecting the new light fixture accordingly. All my fuses are still in working order for that section of the house.

What would be the best way to figure out which wires go with which?

Thanks in advance.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-29-07, 08:35 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
First of all, stop guessing.

You said: "Out of the light fixture, I have 5 white wires, and 5 black wires with approximately 4 grounded copper wires."

Is this out of the old light fixture, out of the new light fixture, or out of the wall where the light fixture used to be?
 
  #3  
Old 01-29-07, 08:37 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 16
"Is this out of the old light fixture, out of the new light fixture, or out of the wall where the light fixture used to be?"

This is out of the wall where the light fixture used to be...
 
  #4  
Old 01-29-07, 08:53 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Unfortunately, this is going to be at least 10 times harder than it would have been if you'd noted the old connections.

You're going to need some electrical test equipment. What have you got?

And tell me exactly how many bare grounding wires you have rather than an approximate number.

Also, tell us about the wall switch. Is there just one switch in the box? How is the fan controlled? Eventually we're going to need you to examine the wiring in the switch box.

This is going to take a lot of patience. If you don't have time for that (an impatient family?), then you might want to call for on-site help.
 
  #5  
Old 01-29-07, 09:33 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
therefore i will agree with John Nelson what he have to say with this.

you may end up get few basic electrical tools you will need :

I willing be listing the most common item[s] you will need for this project

1] two wire voltage tester like neon light. this is very common item you will find this just about any hardware or big box store will stock it.

2] ohmmeter [ only get this after you understand the basic electricial system working ]

3] a roll of electricial tape [ you may end up get a colour verison to mark it down { will expain more later } ]

4] new wirenuts get few with yellow caps and few with red cap those are very common size you will need around the house anyway.


before you work on this MAKE sure the power is off or deengerized to prevent shock or worst .


please do post it back here with the number of wires again to clearify it more


Merci , Marc
 
  #6  
Old 01-30-07, 05:51 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 16
Thanks Guys for the replies...

There are exactly 4 unshielded copper wires.

On the bathroom wall there are 2 switches on the same plate. 1 controls the light in the washroom, and the other controls the fan also located in the washroom.

On the other side of the washroom wall is an electrical outlet that does not have any power to it since the wires were disconnected in the washroom.

I will be obtaining some testing equipment later on this evening and will post back with what I have. Also, I have purchased new colour coded wire nuts.
 
  #7  
Old 01-30-07, 07:03 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
What country are you in?

You next need to do some investigation at the switch box. Make sure the breaker is turned off, remove the cover of the switch box, gently pull out the switches without disconnecting anything, and tell us everything you see (all cables, all wires, all connections).
 
  #8  
Old 01-30-07, 08:29 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 16
I live in Canada...
 
  #9  
Old 01-30-07, 06:50 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 16
Hey Guys,

I asked someone to assist me with the removing of the switch box, but it was a little too difficult.

Thanks for the quick responses, and I will keep you posted once we have a resolution.
 

Last edited by Rashar; 02-01-07 at 07:38 AM.
  #10  
Old 02-01-07, 07:34 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 16
Ok, we're almost there.

As I mentioned before, the box in the bathroom that the light fixture was connected to contains 5 black wires, and 5 white wires.

From the bottom of that box we have a black wire that connects to a white wire that gives 120 v power. Then, it distributes power to the remaining wires.

So, we just have to figure out which pair are connected to the fan, and light switch. In the bathroom, there is 1 receptacle and on the other side of the bathroom wall there is another.

Any additional suggestions or advice as to determining which switch belongs to which pair of wires etc. ?

Thanks in advance.
 
  #11  
Old 02-01-07, 07:55 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Disconnect all wires from each other.

Turn on the breaker. The black/white pair with voltage (there should only be one) is the power feed.

Turn off the breaker. Unplug everything on the circuit and turn off all switches on the circuit. Test each black/white pair for continuity (using the ohms scale on your multimeter). You should read continuity (i.e., zero ohms) on none of the pairs. Now flip on just the one light switch. You now should read continuity on just one pair. That is the switch loop.

Do you know about switch loops? When you have a switch loop, you will end up connecting the white wire of the switch loop to all the other black wires (except the black wire of the switch loop). Then you connect all other white wires to each other, and to the fixture white wire. Finally you connect the black wire from the switch loop to the black wire from the fixture.

Note: this may not be quite right if there are two switch loops in the box, i.e., if the wiring for some other switched device also passes through this box. In that case, you'll need to identify the second switch loop too, and you'll also need to identify the black/white pair that goes to the other switched device. If you follow my directions above, when you turn the power back on, the other switched device will be running all the time, even with its switch off. If this is true, shut the breaker back off immediately (definitely before flipping any switches).
 
  #12  
Old 02-06-07, 01:24 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 16
Issue Resolved. A big thanks to John, and all the others who provided advice.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'